Book Summary: Cause Marketing for Nonprofits

It's a difficult world to live in. Your competition is becoming stronger by the day, whether you work for a nonprofit or in the corporate sector.

You have two options as an answer.

First, you may keep doing things the same way you've always done them, but with more work and money. However, as most people will tell you, you'll most likely wind up doing "more of the same" and losing market share to your most astute competitors.

Alternatively, you may take the second method and look beyond your typical "place in the world" to form innovative connections that can help your brand and organization reach new heights.

Jocelyne Daw's Cause Marketing for Nonprofits presents a vivid picture of how nonprofits and companies may collaborate in innovative ways to benefit both sides of the table.

In the next 12 minutes, you'll learn how to put your cause marketing plan in place and get a leg up on your competition.

What is Cause-Related Marketing?

A for profit and non-profit manager making a deal on partnering to make a cause marketing campaign.

Let's start with a definition of the term "cause marketing."

It was created by Amex in the early 1980s and consists of four main components:

  • For starters, it's a win-win partnership between a nonprofit organization and a for-profit corporation.
  • Second, it integrates the two organizations' shared assets to generate shareholder and societal benefit.
  • Third, it's a method to form personal connections with a wide spectrum of people, from workers to suppliers to the general public.
  • Finally, the mix of self-interest and compassion fosters community and openly conveys the organizations' principles to all participants.

American Express's early foresight in supporting 45 local initiatives established that doing good and generating money are incompatible. "We were throwing money away," said Jerry Walsh, Amex's senior vice president at the time. "But we're doing it in a way that develops business and benefits the cause."

If you're thinking about starting a cause marketing campaign, there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • First and foremost, the attention is always on the cause rather than the charity. Feed the Children, for example, would work for the "cause" of "hunger." The issue, not the charity, should be the campaign's focus.
  • Second, the campaign must be portrayed favorably. Because a company's name will be associated with a campaign to sell more goods or services, the campaign must be positive rather than negative. For example, in a "hunger" campaign, the emphasis would be on the interest your collaborative partnership is doing to solve the problem rather than the problem itself.
  • Finally, while campaigns might have a national reach, their impact and implementation should be localized.

Why Would You Do This?

You must constantly understand what motivates the person on the other side of the table if you will be successful in developing a relationship that creates results. This is true regardless of where you sit at the cause marketing table.

What Drives the Business Partners?

A for profit manager motivating his employee on working their best for the cause marketing campaign.

Here are the most crucial demands you should understand and be able to meet if you are a nonprofit looking to work with a corporation:

1. It serves as a motivation for employees. The adage that an organization's most valuable asset is its people has never been more true. To feel fulfilled, employees are increasingly seeking incentives outside of their pay. According to several studies, employees who have a link to a nonprofit organization are more likely to be loyal to their employer.

2. Companies are being scrutinized more and more. It's no secret that there's a lack of confidence in huge firms these days, particularly among their executives. Thanks to the rise of social media, these businesses now have nowhere to hide, and they are well aware of it. Information about a corporation, good or bad, makes its way online for all to see.

3. Consumers are becoming more socially aware. This follows from the last point, in that customers are prepared to switch brands if it means they can support a cause that is important to them.

4. They seek to boost the value of their stock. Companies now, more than ever, want to know how the program will help them improve their bottom line.

Make sure you've proved that you understand this when proposing a collaboration with a brand and that you can communicate how partnering with your nonprofit furthers this goal.

What Drives Nonprofit Collaborators?

It's also critical for businesses to understand the motivations and needs of their nonprofit partners. Their major desires are as follows:

1. They require additional resources. It is difficult for a nonprofit organization to function without access to resources, both financial and otherwise. This is just as crucial for a nonprofit as it is for a company to increase shareholder wealth.

2. Getting the job done. Those extra resources are needed for a purpose, and that reason is to complete their task, whatever that mission may be. It's vital to understand their objective and how you may assist them.

3. They want to be relevant to the people they serve. Nonprofit organizations are held to the same standards as businesses. They must conduct something meaningful to the community that will keep them responsible.

If you haven't thought through these challenges, consider contacting a partner for a cause marketing campaign.

How Can You Use Cause-Related Marketing?

Now that you know what cause marketing is and your partners' motives, let's look at the many sorts of partnerships you may create and implement. Make a list of the items you can use as we progress through this phase.

There are seven distinct methods to employ cause marketing, all of which begin with the letter P:

1. Product Purchases

A market fair being held selling jams- in which a percentage of the revenue from the sale is donated to the cause.

This is the most common type of cause marketing, in which a percentage of the revenue from the item's sale is donated to the cause. The RED branded items, with earnings going to battle the spread of AIDS in Africa, are the most well-known recent example of this.

2. Purchase Plus

You'll commonly see this sort of cooperation while you're checking out at a store when you'll be invited to donate to a cause by adding it to your purchase. The firm collecting the extra money will subsequently contribute it to the charity. This is one of the most straightforward kinds of cause marketing to implement in the marketplace.

3. Licensed Products

When a nonprofit grants a corporation permission to use its logo and/or name in exchange for a fee or royalty. If you're a nonprofit, your brand is one of your most valuable assets, and this type of cause marketing will help you capitalize on it.

4. Issue Promotions

A discount coupon handed out as a way to increase revenue and raise awareness about the social issue.

This is the second most popular type of cause marketing. A business utilizes its promotional operations to raise awareness about a social issue. It is usually accompanied by a direct payment from the firm to the nonprofit as a method of demonstrating their support for the cause.

5. Cause Promotional Events

When a firm and cause join forces to co-brand an event, it's known as co-branding. The corporation supports the event by using its brand and marketing resources. As a result, they are seen as devoted to a worthy cause both in the community and within their organization.

6. Cause Programs

When a firm and a nonprofit team together to co-brand a certain cause initiative, this is known as co-branding. A good example is when a corporation supports a museum display, such as when 3M Canada and the London Regional Children's Museum collaborated to create the "3M Science in Your World" Gallery.

7. Public Service Cause Marketing

When a corporate and a nonprofit partner to help a social issue in the community, such as when the Boys and Girls Clubs of America teamed up with Crest to create "Crest Healthy Smiles," this is known as a community partnership. These are usually long-term relationships to change behavior.

Consider the many ways you may collaborate with other companies, keeping in mind the 7Ps as well as the reasons you'll need to succeed.

The Framework for Success

It's finally time to put the rubber on the road.

Fortunately for you, Jocelyn made this portion simple to remember as well: the program's creation is broken down into seven simple phases, each beginning with the letter C:

1. Cause

You must first align your corporate goals and assets to correctly position yourself. This should contain a list of any assets you might provide to a cause marketing relationship. The preceding two parts taught you how to do it correctly.

2. Collaborate

A team working on the cause campaign to make sure that it runs smoothly and a successful campaign.

You'll be looking for the right companion throughout this stage. A healthy blend of partner, purpose, passion, and profitability should be present. The idea at this point is to verify that you and your partner are on the same page in terms of the "larger picture."

3. Combine assets

This stage is straightforward: you'll sit down with your partner and combine your assets to determine what form of partnership would be the most beneficial for you to pursue.

4. Create value

Once you've agreed on the best approach to collaborate, work together to determine how you can add the greatest value to each other's businesses. It's vital to identify goals, expectations, and rewards for each partner, as well as what success looks like right from the start.

Before you go on to the next phase, you should draft an agreement that spells out the program's specifics. Who will be accountable for certain aspects of the program? How will decisions be made throughout the partnership?

5. Execute (Okay, it's an "E," but who's checking?)

If you've completed the first four stages correctly, this section will be easy. Check to see whether you're following through on your promises and keeping your end of the agreement. To oversee the program's delivery, you'll require a well-defined internal structure.

6. Communicate

Make sure you're interacting with your spouse openly and honestly frequently. It's surprising what problems may be avoided with regular communication.

This is especially crucial if you are likely to be late for one of your partner's responsibilities. Make an attempt to grasp the "language" of each other's industry; what may mean one thing to you may mean something quite different to your spouse.

This stage also involves communicating with the broader public about the program; crafting these statements with your partner is crucial to the program's success.

7. Community and Corporate Outcomes

An evaluation of the campaign being held to know what worked and not, and build a long term relationship with the other party.

"Cause marketing is about win-win-win for the nonprofit, community, and corporation," Jocelyn explains. In this last phase, you should celebrate your achievements, evaluate what worked (and what didn't), and build on what you've accomplished to form a long-term partnership.

So now you have it: your first steps toward developing a successful cause marketing campaign, regardless of your industry. We hope you take this material, put it into practice, and go further into the book.

Truly understand the topics that Jocelyn has defined so well that we simply can't cram it into a 12-minute synopsis.

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